About Graduate Education (DGE)

The Division of Graduate Education (DGE) advocates for innovative, inclusive, high quality graduate education in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.  DGE manages innovative cross-Foundation programs that directly or indirectly support U.S. citizens and permanent residents in their quest to become the leading scientists and engineers of the future.  To better inform its programs, DGE supports research and other activities that will generate exciting new ideas for the graduate education of the future.  Publications and data on graduate students provided by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) can be found here.                               

Fellowship Program

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is the oldest federal fellowship program directly supporting graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. GRFP is a critical program in NSF's overall strategy in developing the globally-engaged workforce necessary to ensure the Nation's leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation. The two goals of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) are: 1) to select, recognize, and financially support individuals early in their careers with the demonstrated potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers and 2) to broaden participation in science and engineering of underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.

The GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master's and Doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. Over 40 Graduate Research Fellows have later won the Nobel Prize.

Traineeship Program

The NSF Research Traineeship Program (NRT) is designed to ensure that graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is also designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, potentially transformative, and scalable models for STEM graduate education training. THE NRT program includes two tracks:

NRT Traineeship Track

The Traineeship Track is distinguished from other NSF graduate training initiative by the identification of changing priority research themes, inclusion of both master’s and doctoral students, broader definition of trainees, greater budgetary and programmatic flexibility, strong emphasis on the development of transferable professional skills, and explicit preparation for both research and research-related careers.

NRT Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Track

The IGE Track extends the impact of the NRT Traineeship approach to generate the potentially informative models for improvements in graduate education that prepare STEM graduate students for the full range of possible STEM career paths as well as prepare the next generation of scientist and engineers who will advance the nation’s STEM enterprise.

Scholarship Program

 The CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program seeks to increase the number of qualified employees working for Federal, State, Local, and Tribal governments in cybersecurity and to increase the capacity of the United States higher education enterprise to produce professionals in cyber security. The SFS program makes awards under two different tracks:

 SFS Scholarship Track:

In this track, colleges and universities receive funding to award scholarships to students in cybersecurity fields. Scholarships are awarded to recipients for two years or three years of undergraduate study, master’s-level study, or doctoral-level study and include an annual stipend ($20,000 for undergraduate students, $32,000 for graduate students) in addition to tuition, education related fees, and other allowances. Total award size depends on tuition and management and development costs, but a typical award might be approximately $3,000,000 over five years.

SFS Capacity Building Track:

This track is open to all institutions of higher education to improve the quality and increase the production of cybersecurity professionals through curriculum, outreach, faculty, institutional, and/or partnership development. A typical project will request a total of $200,000 to $300,000 over a two to three year period. A small number of large scale projects may be awarded with total budget limited to $900,000 and duration of three to four years.

Research Program

Research on graduate education is supported through several programs in the Directorate for STEM Education.

 Credit: Paul F. Alongi, Technical and Features Writer, Clemson University